When we were just kids, still learning the cut throat ways of the competitive sport of surfing, Nub was there, though pretty much no one knew it. It may have only been tagged with spray paint across a tee shirt worn by my little brother to an ESA contest down south, or it might have only been written in permanent marker on the front of the note book I used for history class, and anyone who wasn’t directly affiliated with the Graeff family didn’t know what it was or what it meant, but it was there, patiently waiting, mostly inside our hearts.
When we were young my two brothers and I were extremely close, we grew up in the same house since day one and our parents have been married for over 25 years so we never had more than a weekend without each other around, this made us as tight nit as you can get. We were always well liked in school and never considered out casts of any sort, but we have always firmly believed in treating everyone equally and never looking down on someone, because they were considered un-cool. This is exactly where Nub made its first appearance in our lives. The original meaning of Nub is Nobody’s Unliked Buddy, which to us at the time meant that no matter what no one was considered an outcast to us and we didn’t discriminate as to who was in our crew.
Nub came to me when I was in fifth grade; I was still living in Pennsylvania and only surfing during the summer and on the weekends. It started out as a dream just like anyone else’s dream as a twelve-year-old kid who surfed; I want to start a surf company of my own. Deep inside my mind I knew that I wanted it to be much more than a surf clothing company and I knew it had the potential to go wherever I wanted it to, but I was only twelve, I had to start somewhere, and this is where it all began.
Ben Graeff- The Surfer
Years down the road I got big into the professional surfing scene. I signed with Billabong when I was fourteen and began traveling the globe from there. I usually spent one to three months on the road at a time. Nub was in the back of my mind, the success of my surfing career was the focus of my young life. I surfed competitively for years, ranked on the world Jrs circuit, the World Qualifying Series and even made the US Surf Team in 2004, my life looked paved. I was going to be a big time professional surfer, traveling the world for a paycheck.
In late fall of 2008, however, my whole life changed. My sponsor at the time, Allyance clothing, went out of business over night without so much as even paying me the rest of my years salary. My travel budget was gone, my incentives for photos and contest results were gone, it was like all my surfing goals disappeared on the spot as I hung up the phone with the once team manager, Keith Dival. After that I stopped traveling and doing most of the contests I had previously competed in and reality hit me hard, this might not happen anymore, I might not be a professional surfer.
|The Crew |
Hob and Tuck- The Stuntmen
While I was off traveling, seeing the places of the world and forgetting Nub ever existed, the dream was very much alive for my two brothers, Robert and Turner. They were always the crazy one’s anyway. We were always interested in making videos to show our friends and whomever was interested enough to watch. The Nub videos consisted of mostly my surfing and mostly Robert and Turners insane antics at the expense of themselves or in the funnier portions of the films other friends of ours. They would do things like jump off of high buildings into bushes, launch insanely high on bicycles and most of the fun came from lighting things on fire with gasoline. Over the years the footage accumulated and the passion for adrenaline grew and eventually in 2009 Robert and Turner went to Kahanas world famous stunt school in Orlando Florida. They were there for three months and came back as certified stunt men. That’s not all that happened though; they also came back with a dream. They were to no longer to be known to the world as Robert and Tunrer Graeff, they were now The Amazing Hob and The Infamous Tucker F#cker Upper, Hob and Tuck for short. They were going to be the world’s best stunt men.
Nub TV- The Youtube Channel
While Hob and Tuck were taking their time away at stunt school I was still focused on my surfing and film careers, so I decided to combined both my talents and I created a new concept that would change our lives forever, Nub TV. It started out as a YouTube channel covering mostly my local surfing exploits and a few funny skits here and there. With film school level videography and editing happening in the videos, on a local YouTube page Nub TV quickly grabbed the attention of small New Jersey websites and surfing fans alike. It rapidly grew to start accumulating thousands of hits every webisode.
|Ben Graeff of Nub TV|
Robbie Beach- The Game Changer
While filming with Alex Dephillipo for his blockbuster surf film Dark Fall over the period of two years leading up to 2010, I met a local video production professional named Robbie Beach. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, all I knew was that he had the nicest camera I had ever seen. Little to my knowledge was it a RED camera and a way better piece if equipment than I could have ever dreamed of. In film school I thought I was sweet, because I could operate an HVX, but I was clueless to the power of Robbie’s equipment. Not long after meeting Robbie I got a call from Alex asking me if I could bring my brothers over and meet with him and Robbie about something to do with stunts. Of course I replied positively as I always do to off set offers to do things involving opportunity. So I grabbed my brothers and we went over to Alex’s house not knowing what to expect. When we got there we learned that Robbie’s friend was working on a TV show where they showcased people failing in attempts to complete stunts. We had a bit of experience with this so we went on a shoot with Robbie and we struck gold. We recorded the three of the best clips of our lives in one day and we had a realization that stretched far beyond doing stunts to merely try to get on a TV show, lets start one of our own.
It had always been our dream to have a television show, but linking up with Robbie, with his production skills and high level of equipment we were closer than we’d ever thought possible. We decided to give it a try by creating one 30 minute pilot and putting it up on Itunes for free for all to download. We figured with the youtube following that Nub TV already had we couldn’t steer wrong going with the same name and keeping things easy for everyone. Soon after we put together one of the best stunt compilations of our lives and posted it up online in late September. We figured we’d get about 500 downloads on the episode and we’d have ourselves a bit of a start. However we woke up the next day to find that 1,000 people had downloaded the episode and the numbers continued on in this fashion until a month later we hit over 11, 000 views on the first episode of our show. After that we premiered our first episode in front of over 200 people at the Field House Bar and Grill in Philadelphia, and the views haven’t stopped accumulating since. Soon after the show also attracted the attention of some other key players on the stunt world.
The Horse- The Ex Gymnist With Balls Of Steel
Zac Gordon, or The Horse, as he likes to be called in the stunt realm, is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and is the master of the whirling nut shot. He has literally made himself famous by getting hit in the nuts. His powers are a wonder to me, for I have never seen a man take even one nut shot remotely close to a Horse shot and even think about standing up for minutes without crying. The Horse caught wind of our pilot and showed some interest, he met up with us to film episode 2 and was a key player in the game, making him an obvious shoe in for a starring role in the show. After filming with him we also learned that he will be starring in the MTV show Numb Nuts, coming out this fall. Since than The Horse has helped a lot with the concept and creative ideas with the show and he has grow to be a good friend of ours and part of the Nub family.
The Real Beginning
From here the only direction is up, the world has taken a bite out of Nub TV, swallowed it and came back for the whole pie. We are so glad to be able to entertain people by doing the things that we love and we also appreciate all the love and support we’ve been given over the years. It’s an amazing feeling when someone comes up to one of us and says hey you’re the kid from that thing on Itunes, you’re a maniac. It’s a funny thing to think about, but our whole lives when people asked us what we keep making these films for we always replied, if we could make one person laugh than we did our job, and in the end that’s what it’s all about anyway, making people smile.
Be sure to check out http://www.nubrevolution.com/